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Jul 09, 2020 Washington, D.C.

The White House Historical Association will host a Facebook livestream discussion, “Protest at the People’s House,” with Matthew Costello, Vice President of the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History and White House Historian. For more than a century, thousands of Americans have gathered in Lafayette Park across the street from the White House to exercise their First Amendment rights and bring awareness to their respective causes.

Dr. Costello will discuss how individuals, groups, and organizations historically used Lafayette Park to advocate for equality, protest policy, and demand action from the neighborhood’s most powerful occupant. Dr. Colleen Shogan, Senior Vice President and Director of the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History, will serve as the moderator.

Viewers on the Facebook livestream can ask Dr. Costello questions during this online event.

"As the White House began to symbolize American ideals such as freedom, democracy, and equality, it also became a highly visible place to demonstrate when those ideals were denied, ignored, or revoked,” says Dr. Costello. “The park has a long history of resistance and protest, and the echoes of those voices can still be heard today."

WHEN: Tuesday, July 14th, 2020; 5-6PM EST

WHERE: White House Historical Association Facebook Page: @WhiteHouseHistory

Register for this virtual event here: Protest at the People’s House

Learn more about protests at the White House by visiting a collection of images and articles on this topic at

About Dr. Matthew Costello: Dr. Costello joined the Association in November 2016 after completing his Ph.D. and M.A. in American history at Marquette University. He received his B.A. in history and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He previously worked on the George Washington Bibliography Project for the George Washington Papers at the University of Virginia. He has received research fellowships from Marquette University, the Virginia Historical Society, the United States Capitol Historical Society, and the Fred W. Smith National Library at Mount Vernon. He has published articles in The Journal of History and Cultures, Essays in History, The Dome, and White House History. His book, The Property of the Nation: George Washington’s Tomb, Mount Vernon, and the Memory of the First President was published by University Press of Kansas in fall 2019. Dr. Costello also teaches a course on White House history at American University.

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About the white house historical association

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.

To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit

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